Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The MINI Roadster is available with a choice of four engines. The range includes three petrol engines and one diesel. The single diesel option is the 2.0-litre SD, which produces 143bhp and 305Nm of pulling power – more than enough when you need to overtake slower moving traffic. It is capable of accelerating the MINI from zero to 62mph in 8.1 seconds and allows for a top speed of 132mph.

Opt for the 1.6-litre petrol engine and power drops to 121bhp and 160Nm of pulling power. If you are overtaking slower traffic with this engine then you’ll have to work the gearbox a bit harder than the other models, dropping down a gear or two to complete your manoeuvre. There’s a four-cylinder petrol engine with TwinPower turbocharging technology.

This little 1.6-litre will complete the zero to 62mph benchmark sprint in seven seconds with an achievable top speed of 141mph. This variant is quite nippy around town and has 240Nm of pulling power, making overtaking fairly simple. The range-topping John Cooper Works model is the most impressive model in the performance stakes. It can complete the benchmark sprint in 6.5 seconds and it has an achievable top speed of 147mph.

The four-cylinder TwinPower turbo system on the 1.6-litre petrol engine, in this model, results in a pulling power of 260Nm. Overall the MINI Roadster performance is very good. The four engines provide an excellent blend of racy power and sensible return on fuel economy.

One of the key features of any MINI is its handling. Fortunately, the Roadster does not disappoint and it is brilliantly set up. The Roadster has a 20mm lower centre of gravity than the standard Convertible and it makes the Roadster more fun to drive on twisty country roads. The steering is pin sharp and direct, even though it uses an electric power steering with speed sensitive power assistance system.

This can often dull a car’s engagement but it’s not the case here. Turn in is fantastic and the MINI Roadster has excellent levels of grip when cornering enthusiastically. This car is fun, whether you have the roof up or down. Unlike some rival systems you can feel what the front wheels are doing, giving the driver lots of confidence because you do feel at one with the car.

Body roll is minimal thanks to that lower centre of gravity while the retractable spoiler is not just for show. At speeds of more than 50mph it automatically pops up to aid handling and below 37mph it will retract because it’s not needed at such low speeds. The JCW will be the choice for enthusiasts. It has plenty of power and an aero kit making it the pick of the Roadster line-up.